Portage Canal

We rented a boat for the day! Best decision! We loaded up early in the morning; Kati, Adam, Taylor, all 5 puppies and I for a fun filled day!

We rented our boat through M&M Powersports, a company in Hancock! It was a brand new, beautiful, clean pontoon and we got it for 8 hours for a very reasonable price! And best of all we were trusted enough to take it anywhere in the canal (yellow star to red star)!

Our first stop was west towards The Breakers (yellow star). As we made our way west it started to get cloudy and it was looking like it was going to rain. As we neared the lighthouse the water was so choppy and I was getting nervous. I thought our boat day was going to be over before it really even started 😦

After we nabbed a quick picture of the light house we drove back into the canal where the water was smoother but we still had heavy cloud cover and that continued as we made our way through the whole canal and out to the other side. As we cruised through we got to admire all the beautiful houses, landscapes and wildlife. We ended up seeing 5 bald eagles! Thanks to Adam who pointed them all out!

Our goal was to make it to the only swimmable beach along the canal (red star)! Because of the flood earlier in the month several of the beaches were still not safe for swimming.

Once again the water got choppy as we made our way out of the canal, around the lighthouse and towards the beach. We made it safely to shore where we beached the pontoon and hopped out (into the freezing water) we started to pay fetch with the pups!

Gonzo was living his best life running up and down the beach and jumping the waves! Sophie romped around on the beach with her twin! Adam taught me how to skip rocks! I had never been able to do it before! And we all took turns seeing how long we could stand in the freezing water!

We spent a hour or two at the beach playing around! The sun came back out as we were packing up to leave and the temperature skyrocketed!

As we headed back into the canal Taylor decided to take a detour over to the cliffs! The water suddenly turned crystal clear and we all took turns jumping off the back of the boat into the breathtakingly cold water! It was the best part of the day and Adam even swam over to the cliff! So cool! And we could see all the way to the bottom of the lake! We couldn’t get over the water!

The rest of the day we just cruised around the canal and stopped a few times to let Adam fish (white star). The dogs were perfect and we had a snoozing pup pile up by mid afternoon!

Also! Confession! I ate a whole bag of Lays chips in the All Dressed flavor. Apparently, the flavor is a Canadian thing and Wow! It’s amazing — BBQ, vinegar, salt! A must try if you are in Canada or any bordering state! Yum!

#66 – That All Dressed chips aren’t available in Texas! I’d likely have an extra 20 lbs on me if they were!

#67 – That I was able to have this memorable experience with some of my favorite people!

#68 – For the courage it took to jump off the back of the boat! I don’t mind the jumping part, it was the 40 degree water that I’d have to get out of that was the issue! My lungs just clench up and I forget how to swim! So scary!

#69 – For our little lifeguard Gonzo, he had to jump into the water after each of us to make sure we were okay! He was shaking by the end because it was so cold! Thanks G! Even though I think it may have been a selfish act since I know how much you love to swim!

#70 – For the rain holding off and the sky clearing up! It ended up being a perfect Michigan summer day out on the water!

Bare Bluff, Montreal Falls & Copper Harbor

And now we are entering into the favorite part of my trip! The part where Taylor joins us! Yay!

Taylor flew in late on the 5th and we hit the ground running early the next morning! I had been saving some of my favorite destinations and adventures for when he got here!

Up first was Bare Bluff which I knew little about. It was Kati’s idea and I didn’t know what to expect.

After about a 30 minute drive up the east side of the peninsula we arrived at a private dirt road. About 15 minutes down the dirt road we were in a parking lot and meeting up with Kati and Adam’s friends and their dogs!

We looked like quite the crew on this day – 6 humans and 7 dogs. Whom might I add were all incredibly well behaved the entire hike, minus one little incident which I will tell you about soon! *cough* Sophie Rose *cough*

The hike to Bare Bluff was peaceful, gorgeous and a moderate difficulty through the woods. The views from the top were some of what I believe to be the best in the Keweenaw! A must see in my opinion!

We didn’t hike the whole loop as we had a packed day and still wanted to hike to Montreal Falls.

Montreal Falls is located about 15 minutes beyond the Bare Bluff parking lot down that same private dirt road. Where the dirt road ends the trail begins!

The hike is an easy 1.5 miles in along the coast of Lake Superior. It took awhile because we kept stopping to stare at the perfectly clear water!

This is also where our hike got interesting. I was at the back of the line and all of a sudden I here everyone yelling NO! and Sophie’s name. I ran up to where they were all gathered to see my queen 30 feet below me walking around in Lake Superior. She had jumped/ran over the edge because she wanted to play in the water. Well Coal and Chumlee then decided to follow her! Once they all decided they were done playing in the water, Coal and Chumlee were able to scale back up the slightly angled drop off but Grandma Sophia wasn’t even planning on attempting it. Taylor had to find another entry point down to the cove and carry her back up with some help of all the other guys! I swear! She is something else!

After that the hike was nothing short of perfect! The views were great and the end of the trail popped out at a great little beach right next to the falls!

The pups and boys all swam around for a bit and then we went to go play around on the Falls! The water was the perfect temperature and we all had a blast jumping around from rock to rock and splashing in the water. I of course fell and bruised my bum and back pretty badly. But nothing out of the ordinary at this point πŸ™„ We were all living our best life this day! Also, Taylor loves to drink Lake Superior water and tell everyone how delicious it is πŸ˜‚

After about an hour later we headed out to go get some lunch.

Taylor and I decided to go get ours up in Copper Harbor since he had never been! We had a delicious lunch at The Mariner, they have a little bit of everything and it was all delicious!

Also, check out this funny sign in Copper Harbor. Hwy 41 starts at the tip top of the Keweenaw and ends in Miami! Pretty cool! This picture is even better to capture in the winter! With feet of snow surrounding it!

After lunch we drove up Brockway Mountain to check out the views and they did not disappoint! It was quite windy as evidenced in my picture below!

We headed home along the west side of the peninsula and stopped at every waterfall along the way! And obviously we had to stop at the Dairy Bar in Ahmeek! Yum!

A perfect day!

#62 – That Taylor made it safely up to see me and that he was able to get time off to come join me!

#63 – That Sophie was okay! When she decided to go for a swim!

#64 – That there are so many beautiful places in the world still left to see!

#65 – I’m always just thankful for a good day outside with good company!

The Porkies & Chassel Strawberry Fest

Now that my trip has been over for almost 2 months and I’ve had Taylor remind me everyday for those last 2 months that I need to finish up blogging about my trip. I figured I should probably finish up my last couple of post about my perfect trip in the Upper Peninsula!

I left off on July 3rd which now means you get to find out how I spent my day celebrating America’s birthday!

Kati had the whole day off so we left early and made our way to the Porcupine Mountains (The Porkies!) which is about 1.5 hours from where I was camping. The drive in was gorgeous!

Our first order of business was taking a picture by the sign. Well that turned out to be a terrible idea because the black flies were terrible and the next thing I knew I was covered in hundreds (not exaggerating) of black flies and they were all biting me. We ran screaming and yelling back to the car! I’m getting itching and having flashbacks just writing about it! We hoped it wasn’t a sign of things to come!

We made it into the park and stopped at the visitor center because we wanted to grab a souvenir shirt! They didn’t have any we liked but suggested we check out the Outpost which was on our way to Lake of the Clouds.

We picked up some cool gear – matching sweatshirts and some stickers and then made our way up to check out the lake!

We had seen many pictures of Lake of the Clouds so we couldn’t wait to see it in person and let me tell you: pictures do it no justice!

We looked a little bit like a shit show walking around though; the two of us and four dogs. Everyone commented on our pack which was acting extra disorderly. One lady even commented: I love that doodles don’t shed but I could never get one because they aren’t very cute. SOMEONE HOLD ME BACK! Aren’t cute?? I thought it was the collective opinion of the world that doodles are synonymous with cute! πŸ™„πŸ™„ Maybe not the best behaved but defiantly cute!

We stared at the lake for a bit and checked it out from all the viewpoints.

At one of the outlooks we even saw a bald eagle soaring above us, seriously does it get any more American than that?

Once we were finished at the Lake of the Clouds we made our way to the other side of the park where we were actually going to do some hiking. On the East and West River Trails!

Welllll while we were driving to the other side, the clouds moved in and it was starting to look like rain. We decided to head out anyway because a little rain couldn’t hurt!

Hahahha little did we know.

It was an absolute downpour for the entire TWO hour hike. Thank goodness the views were still stunning and Kati and I were able to find the humor in our drowned rat status!

We saw beautiful waterfalls and got to walk along the beautiful rushing river the whole time! It really was a great hike despite our circumstance!

Thank goodness for our new sweatshirts otherwise we would have frozen on the ride home! A 1.5 hour ride home with 4 wet dogs! Need I say how enjoyable and smelly that was!! Hahahahhaha Happy Birthday America!

The following day, after Kati got out of work we headed to the Strawberry Festival in Chassel! We had the most delicious strawberry shortcake! Got to people watch, look at the lake and had the best time walking around the different vendor booths!

I found some of my most favorite Michigan souvenirs to date!

An awesome succulent terrarium where the base has been made out of driftwood from Lake Superior beaches. A great little ornament, the sweetest old man handcrafted!

And then my favorite of all! My 3 new pendants.

The first is made from Lake Superior Agate. Classis Michigan.

The second is made from a brick from the smelting factory in Hancock. This is the plant where all the copper in the Keweenaw was melted down, poured into copper molds to form copper ingots so that they could be shipped out all over the world. So cool to know I get to hold onto a little piece of that history.

The last pendant is made from Detroit Agate. Maybe my favorite of all. If you don’t know Michigan has a deep, deep history in not only timber and mining but, also in the automobile industry. Detroit Agate is made from the layers upon layers upon layers of hardened paint from the floor automobile painting rooms. You can see each layer of color. Our particular pieces were made from the Corvette factory! Seriously we spent an hour talking to this guy about the history of it all and it was an hour well spent.

#56 – I’m beyond grateful and proud to be from Michigan. I will move back one day. It is such a hidden treasure and has such a great history. Ever want to know more? I could go on and on. Just ask!

#57 – For our safety on our July 4th hike. Hindsight is telling me it wasn’t wise to be out hiking in such conditions, especially when most of it was along an edge overlooking the river.

#58 – For the sense of humor my sister and I brought to this day. It could have been a day that was easy chalked up as being ruined.

#59 – To our amazing (and cute!) puppy dogs, even to you Chumlee who cried and tried to jump into your mom’s arms for 10 minutes straight!

#60 – For having enough time to just sit down and talk with strangers.

#61 – To Kati for spending so much of her time with me this summer! Love you! Miss you, more than you know 😒

Oulu, Hungarian Falls & Quincy Dredge

Kati and I had to take a quick trip to Wisconsin over the weekend to celebrate Tami’s final baby shower! It was a great time, a beautiful shower and good to see all the family again! I just can’t help but imagine living up here and being able to see everyone on a casual, regular basis like this. Here are a few shots from her lovely shower!

Also, one of Tami’s chickens had chicks! So cute!

And on the way home I helped a painter turtle cross the road!

The day after we got home from the shower it was rather cloudy and rainy so Kati and I went to go see Incredibles 2 at the movie theater it was cute and funny!

The next day was absolutely gorgeous so I decided to head out on another hunt for waterfalls! This time I headed to Hungarian Falls. I had been to this river, trail system and falls before but it was in the middle of winter. Which means I was snowshoeing through a winter wonderland not hiking through a lush forest! Entirely different experience but just as pleasant!

Same place 11 years apart.

I almost didn’t get to see all the beautiful falls. Due to the flooding all the trailheads were closed but I decided to go through anyway. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ do as I say not as I do.

I mean I can see why!

But totally worth it! Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring the dogs because the majority of the trail is alongside a cliff and if you read my last post you would understand why that might not be a great idea!

For my southern readers: fun fact most of the trails I’ve been hiking are also for wintertime use! For example, down the center of the bridge in the picture below is a black plastic mat. This is to protect the skis of your snowmobile in the winter because that’s who this trail is used by then! The area doesn’t only survive on summer tourism but also winter tourism. Because of all the lake effect snow they get every year (about 280 inches) people come from all over to enjoy! The snow is pretty much a guarantee which makes winter time that much more fun! Houghton is actually known as a “winter city”, which means it’s a city the embraces and celebrates the winter months! With one of the biggest events of the year being Winter Carnival! And absolutely awesome festival that should be on everyone’s bucket list!

If you ever decide to hike the Hungarian Falls know that they aren’t very well marked! But if you just ask a local they will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. Head out on 26 towards Lake Linden. Turn left onto 6th street, take the seasonal road up the hill and then park at anyone of the trailheads on the left!

On the way back to camp I made sure to stop at the Quincey Dredge 2 ruins and the old stamp mill ruins! Pretty cool to walk around and imagine how everything used to look!

This area has such a rich history and I enjoy learning more and more about it everyday!

For dinner, Kati and I got to eat with Our cousin Megan and he husband Garrett! They made the last minute decision to spend July 4th in the UP! What a fun surprise! It was so nice to catch up! We talked so long l, we ended up closing down the restaurant! It was so nice to see Megan, I don’t think I’ve seen her since her wedding a few years ago. She is pregnant now and is due 5 days after my sister Tami! Like I said, I’m really enjoying all this family time!

#51 – My cousin! So glad she reached out to let us know she was in the area! So good to catch up!

#52 – Blue skies!

#53 – Beautiful sunsets! Every night I don’t think they can better but they just keep getting better! I’m saving all the sunset pictures for one of my last post!

#54 – I’m trying to find a way to be grateful for all the fireworks. I’m struggling though because they scare Gonzo so much and put a real damper on our evenings.

#55 – I’m grateful I remained safe on my hike today, normally I don’t like solo hiking but it was a peaceful time that I very much enjoyed!

Agate Beach, O Kun De Kun & Bond Falls

Following my amazing sea plane ride I had some not so amazing excursions. Luckily, we were able to find the humor in each!

For the first part of my disastrous 24 hours my sister and I headed out to Agate Beach. Kati had been telling me about this beach for months! It is her favorite and we went out there for a good round of fetch and a beautiful sunset!

Disaster #1 – On the drive there I noticed Titan, Kati’s oldest dog, chewing on a beach towel. I climbed into the back and took it away from him. As I was looking at it I saw he had eaten some of it, wanting to know how much, I pieced it back together to find out that he had eaten about 1/8, if not more of it. Kati immediately pulled over, jumped out of her car and laid it in the road to see if I had properly pieced it back together! I had, so we rushed to the gas station and bought hydrogen peroxide, delicious canned dog food and a bowl. Titan must have thought he was pretty special getting such a wonderful treat while all the other dogs were stuck in the car.

Within minutes the hydrogen peroxide did the trick and the beach towel was coming back up! Poor guy didn’t know what to do!! Needless to say, for the rest of the night he was a drooling mess! But better than the alternative!

While Titan was busy throwing up I had a little photo shoot with all the puppies in the field with the lupins!!

We decided Titan was ready to rally so we headed to the much anticipated Agate Beach!

Pulling up I could see why this is Kati’s favorite! It’s a beautiful rocky beach on the westside of the peninsula and is the perfect place to watch the sunset over beautiful Lake Superior!

Disaster #2 – However, upon further inspection we realized all the sand had been washed away, the shoreline was covered in washed up branches and other debris and worst of all it was no longer walkable because the water levels had risen so much! There were also bugs and spiders everywhere! I get itchy just thinking about it!

We attempted to make the best out of the situation because the sun setting was still pretty and Gonzo was ready to play some ball! But we ended up not staying long because we just couldn’t take all the bugs!

Kati was disappointed but at the end we had a good laugh!

The following day I decided I wanted to go check out some waterfalls about an hour away! So the dogs and I headed out to O Kun de Kun Falls!

The pictures I had seen of it were gorgeous and you can actually walk behind the the falls and play around on all of the surrounding rocks! Right up my alley! Here our some pictures for reference!

Can you see why I was so excited?

Disaster #3 – Well, the hike in wasn’t fantastic because of all the rain the week before the trail was extremely muddy, we were up to our ankles in mud! But we just trekked along! #mustseewaterfall Luckily, through the really swamping parts boards had been laid down!

I kept Sophie and Gonzo leashed up! Which normally works out fine. That is until Gonzo decided to unexpectantly veer off the path and down a hill covered in slippery pine needles. I should also mention this hill ends at a cliff that overlooks a rushing river! My life flashed before my eyes as I was barreling down the hill reaching for anything I could. Thankfully, I was able to grab onto a pine tree before we went sliding off the edge of a cliff! Now that I think about I wonder what Sophie was doing? Hmmm it was all a blur!

No worries, I didn’t get hurt too bad! Only a badly bruised hip, some scratches and some splinters in my palm! Thanks Gonzo! Love you! This is his look of remorse face! Can’t be mad at him for too long!

Anyway! That wasn’t even the real disaster! Check out the waterfall!

Completely flooded out! Nothing to walk behind, brown, muddy water and no rocks to jump around on! We hiked out here and got covered in mud for this?! Still pretty and like Taylor says, still better than Houston! But still! It didn’t even occur to me that the water levels would be this elevated! I would estimate about 6 feet?

Well at least we got to meet several really nice folks out on the trail and all had a good laugh about the condition of the falls!

Next up on our waterfall tour we headed to Bond Falls! Which is said to be one of the most picturesque falls in all of the Midwest! It is on the Ontonagon River and is accessible to all! There is a really nice path to the falls and boardwalks surrounding it. Normally, I hate when things are so nice and built up but this was well done! The boardwalk offers several different viewpoints of the falls and fits in perfectly to the surrounding natural beauty! This experience was definitely not a disaster! These falls were gorgeous and pictures do them no justice! Highly recommend checking this place out!

Well that’s it for the disasters! Not really so bad! Just like life, you gotta roll with the punches!

#45 – I wanted to thank everyone for the awesome support with Brody Bear! He made it safely to Rhode Island and is doing great with his new mom and new brother!

#46 – I’m thankful for situations not going as planned. It teaches the valuable life lesson of finding joy and beauty in the unexpected.

#47 – Fruit! I love this time of year when all the fruit is in season! This Friday is the start of the Strawberry Festival here! Can’t wait!

#48 – Taylor is also flying in this week! So grateful he was able to get the time off to join me!

#49 – I’m sure I’ve already said this but I’m just so grateful that I get to spend my summer in such a beautiful place with my dogs and sisters!!

Foster Friday with Brodie

Name: Brodie aka Brodie Bear aka Baby Brodie aka Wild Child aka Brodie Bro

Time in our care: 2 months

Age: about 1 year

How Brodie ended up with us: Brodie was pulled by IDOG from a shelter in Austin. He was completely covered in mats and needed to be completely shaved down. He either spent the first year of his life in a backyard or roaming the streets. He was then adopted but it didn’t work out so then we got to foster him!

Adventure: While Taylor was in Moab I took all THREE dogs to Austin with me! Now that was an adventure! Yikes! He got to spend sometime at Aunt Alyse’s coffee shop and walk all around Austin.

He also got to go on a little trip to Baton Rouge! He was such a good boy in Baton Rouge and everyone loved him!

Personality: Brodie is the wildest dog we have ever fostered. He spent the first several weeks tethered to either me or a piece of furniture. He also spent those first few weeks wearing a diaper. Ha!

He was so unaware of domesticated dog norms and had to learn that being calm and behaved meant he could have more control. Acting like a wild man was not how he would get his way. Brodie is very stubborn and can be moody! Ha! Just like me! Brodie loved me more than possibly any other dog has in my entire life. He was my biggest fan but he also would try to walk all over me! I don’t think so sir! Although, I would allow it, at times, because he’s so cute and he can usually get away with almost anything!

As you can tell, we spent a lot of time working with Brodie to make him adoptable and he sure is a quick learner!

Initially, we didn’t know if our skill set would be enough to curb Brodie’s bad behaviors but I am happy to stay we stuck with it (after an extensive talk with the most fantastic trainer, thanks Kris!) and Brodie improved every day he was with us. He made us so very proud!

I actually had to leave him before he was adopted. He has spent the last 3 weeks home with Taylor! I’m happy to report he is now best buds with Taylor and has improved more than I ever thought possible. Taylor even took him to work most days! He is no longer scared around men and looks for Taylor’s approval in everything he does. The only issue we still had left to work on was his dog reactivity when on leash!

Queen Sophia Rose and Gonzo’s thoughts: Despite his craziness I wouldn’t say that Sophie or Gonzo disliked him. As soon as they told him they didn’t want to play anymore he would walk away and play by himself. I will say he has no concept of personal space and would crawl all over both Sophie and Gonzo and it was hysterical!

Funny story: His bunny hops all around the house and backyard! He would gold medal at any agility event!

How he would parkour off of anything, anyone, or any dog!

That one time he escaped from his kennel and greeted me at the backdoor.

The look of surprise on people’s face when he would fly onto their lap.

How he would happily play with his bone for hours. Toss it up into the air and catch it!

How he stole every. single. toy. out of Gonzo’s mouth. No remorse. Poor G-money.

The time he stumbled head first into the pool. He clawed his way out quite quickly!

Our all time favorite moment with Brodie is when he purposely chose to take a swim with Gonzo and Taylor! Best moment!

Adopters: Brodie (now Brody) landed in the absolute BEST home! His journey to his new home is pretty spectacular! His new mom is located in Rhode Island.

On the morning of June 27th Taylor dropped Brody off at one of the P.E.T.S. LLC transport locations. From there Brody was loaded onto a semi truck with about 100 other dogs and off to the Northeast he went! On June 29th we got a nice surprise as this organization does a live Facebook feed during their Friday morning wellness walks! About 1.5 hours into the live feed Brody showed up for his walk!! So much fun and so many tears! Putting him on the transport truck was so difficult because we couldn’t explain to him that this 3 day Journey was going to be worth it! After seeing him on the video it offered such a sense of relief seeing that he was doing okay! P.E.T.S. LLC is an incredibly organization that offer superior transportation for dogs from the south to the northeast! They transport 150 dogs or more every week! Incredible! Their kindness with and care for each dog is so apparent! If you are ever looking to donate to awesome organization or need to transport a dog this is the one!

Brody will be meeting his foster mom, Stacy and his new brother Ace on Saturday morning! Stacy is awesome, she already has a trainer for Brody! We have talked for hours and she plans to continue on with all the training we have started! It will be a little rough in the beginning but I know this is the perfect home for our Brody Bro!

#44 – We love you so much Brody. We have never put so much work into a dog and it has been THE most rewarding experience! Brody you taught us so much about raising a dog and just about life in general. Thank you Brody!

Sea Plane!

A few months ago Kati called me asking that if she booked a sea plane to fly around the Keweenaw Peninsula would I like to go?

Well you don’t have to ask my twice!

She surprised Adam with it and I am so grateful I got to join!

It was an experience that left me speechless and giddy!

So much beauty up here in Copper Country!

Royale Air Service, Inc. operates right out of Ripley and is located just across the Portage Canal from where I’m camping.

Ken was our pilot and he was so awesome and knowledgeable! He used to fly his sea plane up in Alaska in and around all the remote villages! So cool!

The only thing I found so disappointing was that the canal was all brown from the flood. Normally it is a beautiful shade of blue! It was a constant reminder of the turmoil the area experienced a week earlier. In some of the pictures you can see the murky, muddy water mixing with the beautiful Lake Superior!

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I definitely recommend taking a Sea Plane tour whenever you get a chance! The take off and landing were so smooth we had him do it twice! Once at the end and once halfway through in the middle of Portage Lake!!

Amazing way to spend a Saturday morning!

#39 – Kati for booking this incredible ride!

#40 – All my friends and family for all the awesome calls, texts and messages I got yesterday! Thanks for making me feel special on my special day.

#41 – Brodie. Our latest foster dog got dropped off for transport today. The experience with him was a whirlwind and you will learn all about it on Foster Friday this week! I learned so much from this little guy. One of the most rewarding experiences ever.

#42 – Taylor for taking amazing care of Brodie for the past few weeks well I have been gone. You are the absolute best and went above and beyond for this guy. I’m so proud of you for doing something you didn’t want to do. I know you found it just as rewarding as I did.

#43 – Thanks to Ken, our pilot for make the ride so special and feel so personalized!

Dry House Ruins & Great Oaks

These past few nights Kati and I have been into sunset hikes!

For our first sunset hike we went around the Dry House Ruins which are all the buildings connected to the most profitable mine in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Quincy Copper Mine. It’s huge,I can even see its steam hoist from my campsite! It’s iconic in the area!

Well, we took the dogs to play around in the ruins of this now non-operational mine, don’t worry they are safe! There are no nails, it’s a tourist destination!

Gonzo had the time of his life! I have never seen him have so much energy! He had me laughing so hard I was crying! Hopping around with Coal and Chumlee! I couldn’t even get a good picture of him! They were all a blur!

We had so much fun reading all about the abandoned buildings, what purpose they once served and the lighting from the setting sun just made it all so magical!

I was the only one who got injured. Shocking! I know. I don’t think I could be any clumsier! I tripped over a leash and my leg landed on a broken branch so I scraped up my shin. Then I was climbing up a wall (not recommended and probably not actually allowed) and slammed my head into a piece of metal and cracked it open! (Now I have a nice scab on the top of my head! πŸ™„) Then after that initial shock of slamming my head into metal I brought it down quickly and slammed my cheek into a brick. I’m really a mess. Bless my heart.

For our next sunset hike we went out to Boston, MI and hiked The Great Oak Trail! So fun! It’s was a beautiful 3 miLe hike through the forest along a little river!

This trail is actually part of a very extensive trail system throughout the area called Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids. It’s all for the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club but in the summer when there is nothing to ski on they make perfect hiking trails!

The dogs had a blast running around and Sophie got covered in mud!

Another great night in the Keweenaw!

#34 – For this challenge. I love all the text and messages people are sending me about it! Challenging themselves to think of something they are grateful for during a time when they would otherwise be frustrated/angry/unhappy.

#35 – The beautiful weather the U.P. has been experiencing! Can’t get enough of these warm summer days and cool summer nights.

#36 – Being able to follow my natural sleep schedule. My body naturally runs best between 10 AM and 1 AM. And I am most active between about 2 PM to midnight. With no work during the summer to dictate my schedule I get to fall into this rhythm and it’s so so so nice! Most know I am not a morning person and struggle to wake up to my alarm every morning!

#37 – Houghton. I love this town! Kati, the dogs and I have so enjoyed our daily walks just exploring the town and admiring all the old houses!

#38 – Avocado toast! πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ₯‘πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜

The Great Rain

I left my last post on a cliffhanger! Mentioning the storm starting. Well that night after the fireworks it began to thunder and lightening.

Then the rain started.

The storm was lighting up the sky throughout the night and the rain never let up.

At some points it sounded like the sky was cracking open because the thunder was so loud and lasted for so long. The camper was vibrating nonstop. Needless to say, Gonzo and I didn’t get much sleep that night. He’s not typically afraid of storms but poor guy was curled up next to me panting all night. Queen Sophia Rose was sprawled out on her bed passed out, oh to live her life! Not a care in the world πŸ€£πŸ™„πŸ™„

The rain finally let up in the morning just as the sun was rising. I opened the shades of the camper and peaked outside and couldn’t believe all the devastation I saw!

The beach at the campground had washed away along with all of the sand around the playground; there was now a river running through the middle of the park.

Shortly after, my park host Dan rode by on his gulf cart saying the bridge out of the park had been washed away, meaning there was no way to exit with the camper. There was an alternative exit, thank goodness but, it was steep and narrow and wouldn’t fit a camper.

Then Kati sent me a video from the street right outside her living room! It had cracked open. See video below!

The beautiful, blue canal my site overlooks turned a deep, muddy brown.

Throughout the day we kept getting updates about the destruction all around the city. Flooding, bridges washing away, buildings falling into chasms, and roads giving way to the rushing waters! All this seemed all too familiar. #hurricaneharvey #houstonstrong

This poor, small town is not built to handle rainfall like this. It is built to handle freezing temperatures and massive amounts of snow! Almost every single road is at steep incline, which meant that every road turned into a raging river that night, washing away everything in its path. To top it off all the ground is made up of sand which is so easily washed away.

However, the silver lining is that once again it’s been amazing to see another community come together in a clean up effort and to see them support one another through such a terrible time. #coppercountrystrong

Dan, the park host, came around with the worst news, the city had issued a mandatory evacuation for all campers. Which meant I had to leave my camper behind. There were reports about a dam breaking which would cause the campground to flood and wash into the canal.

I had already planned on heading to Tami’s house that day, a 3 hour trip to Wisconsin. But I thought about canceling it as I knew it’d be a long trip with the storms and all the road damage. Well now I didn’t have a choice. So it was with a heavy heart that I packed up everything from the camper into my car and headed west to Wisconsin.

The 3 hour trip took 6 hours because of the heavy rain, flooding on the road, and almost every single road having a detour on it because some portion of it had washed away! Some parts washed away right in front of your eyes, check out the video!

Luckily, we finally made it safely to Tami’s and went to sleep almost immediately upon arrival!

To make the best out of a bad situation, the following day I made a trip to Duluth, Minnesota with Sophie and Gonzo! I downloaded the new BeyoncΓ© and Jay-Z album, cruised into town and got my mind off my poor camper!

Duluth is a great city on the most western point of Lake Superior with a ton of things to do and I sure would have liked to stay longer!

We had lunch at a great restaurant, Pizza Luce! Took a drive up the North Shore (A must do! Incredibly scenic!) and then we walked around a lakeside park and played fetch in Lake Superior for a long while! It was a beautiful, sunny day!

Before we headed home I made sure to stop by the local food co-op because I can NOT ever not stop at one! Come on Houston! Get with the program and get a good food co-op!!!!!!!!!!!

That night we celebrated our birthdays (Kati and Tami’s is on the 19th and mine is on the 26th) with dinner out and an ice cream cake! We exchanged gifts and visited around the dinner table! It was nice to celebrate with my sisters, something I haven’t done with them in almost a decade.

The next day I headed back to Houghton to check out the damage. Thankfully, the dam held and I made it back to a perfectly intact camper! I slept like a baby that night!

#27 – That we were spared in the flood. Had we gotten much more water that night, the dam could have broken, flooded the campground and washed the pups and me into the canal.

#28 – A strong community who comes together. Just like I witnessed and took part in, in Houston, it is wonderful to witness people helping one another.

#29 – An alternative exit at the camp ground.

#30 – Sister birthday time! It was such a fun night!

#31 – All of the construction workers who have been working tirelessly to fix the roads before winter comes.

#32 – A safe drive to and from Wisconsin. A road could have washed away at any point and it is only by luck that I didn’t get caught up in one.

Delaware Copper Mine & The Breakers

I forgot to mention in my last post one of my favorite nights of the trip!

We all took a drive out to The Breakers (yellow star), where the canal opens up into Lake Superior on the westside of the peninsula. It is an absolutely perfect place to watch the sunset, run up and down the beach on the black, pebbled sand AND! of course no trip to the beach is complete without a little fetch for Gonzo!

The video is a must see! Gonzo is so majestic! I don’t think I could love him anymore!

The following day as Kati and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to do on a cloudy and rain filled day, she exclaimed, “Rain or shine, it’s always clear in the mine!”

So that’s just where we went. No rain down in the mine! We had a few copper mines we could tour in the Keweenaw Peninsula as it is Copper Country! We decided to pick the Delaware Copper Mine (red star) as it is dog friendly! So yes, we brought all FIVE dogs down into the mine with us! Such a fun and unique experience! The host was fantastic! He even had his dog up front with him and get this, he has a pet skunk named, Oreo!! The self guided tour took us on a trek down and around the mine which was so fun! The mine is actually 9 stories below ground but, we could only explore the top most story because the other 8 are flooded. The mine is no longer in use and the water pumps are no longer needed so that means its all submerged! Pretty crazy to walk around the mine knowing that this was all done in the middle of the 1800’s. Which means most of it was done by man power and not machine. We read that the miners made .21 cents a day. Hard to believe that people travelled from all over the world to work so hard, for so little in these mines. Unfortunately, Delaware Copper Mine is considered a failure as the money they put into the mine exceeded that of which they made from it. After walking around down in the mine we got to tour the old ruins and check out some amazing views of the peninsula!Had to make one quick road side stop on the way home! Can you believe how much snow they get?! Sophie couldn’t either!That night the sky cleared up! Kati and I went on a walk to get some ice cream, enjoyed the Bridgefest activities and then got to watch a wonderful fireworks show right across the the canal from my campsite’s dock! Poor Gonzo spent some time cuddled up safely in the camper because he doesn’t like fireworks all that much.Right after Kati left to head home for the night, then the storm began.

More on that in my next post!

#22 – Space Heater. It gets cool at night up here on the water. Our camper has a heater but I just love our little space heater so much!

#23 – My campsite in Houghton. It’s perfect and I can’t believe I actually got this spot! Best one in the park!

#24 – Delaware Copper Mines host! He was so friendly and you could tell he really loved his job!

#25 – My coworkers. We’ve had some recent heartbreaking news on campus and really a lot of trying times over the past year. I wouldn’t have wanted to go through it all with anyone else.

#26 – Rainy days! Because otherwise we would have had a hard time justifying going down into the dark, freezing cold mine! It’s was in the 40s! But the experience was unforgettable!